About 10 years ago Jon Bon Jovi was staying at the Ritz-Carlton in Philadelphia when he noticed a homeless man, shivering in the cold outside the hotel window.
“That homeless man’s plight planted a seed in his heart, that he wanted to take a stand against hunger and homelessness in our community,” said Sister Mary Scullion, founder of Project HOME, a beneficiary of Bon Jovi’s philanthropy.
On Tuesday night, the rock musician behind “Wanted Dead or Alive” and “You Give Love a Bad Name” will be honored with the Marian Anderson Award.
Earlier this year, Project HOME opened the JBJ Soul Homes, a $16 million development in Philadelphia’s Fairmount neighborhood, with 55 affordable units. The assistance of Bon Jovi’s Soul Foundation made it possible.
It’s projects such as this one that earned New Jersey native Bon Jovi the Marian Anderson Award, given to artists for their humanitarian work.
“We’re so grateful to him for his work in raising the issue as a political issue, as well as looking at it programmatically and seeing what we can do,” said Scullion. She and several residents of the Soul Homes will attend the award gala at the Kimmel Center.
The Marian Anderson Award, named for the Philadelphia contralto who overcame racism in the early 20th century to become one of the century’s most celebrated opera singers, comes with a $50,000 prize.